Intel vs AMD – The best processors you can buy in South Africa

Intel and AMD are competing for a share in the global PC market, and the margin between the manufacturers is closer than ever before.

AMD has hit back at Intel with the launch of its Zen-based processors and has since been keeping stride with the bigger CPU company.

Since the launch of its first-generation Ryzen processors, AMD has been winning back market share among gamers and enthusiasts with the impressive performance of its new chips.

Intel answered this assault with the release of its 8th-generation and 9th-generation desktop chips, which boast increased core counts to keep pace with their Ryzen counterparts.

While performance may be important, pricing remains a crucial consideration for many desktop CPU buyers – and this is where AMD has an edge.

To see how Intel and AMD CPUs compare, we looked at the best desktop processors available in South Africa from the companies.

Hardware and pricing

Online retailers in South Africa stock both first and second-generation AMD Ryzen chips as well as 8th-gen and 9th-gen Intel Core processors.

Pricing for the older hardware can vary wildly, as some may be marked down for clearance while others might be more expensive.

It is important to note that Intel’s chips have integrated graphics, while only AMD’s Ryzen chips with the “G” suffix have onboard GPUs.

Additionally, all of the AMD Ryzen 1st-gen and 2nd-gen processors can be overclocked, while only the Intel chips with the “K” designation can be tuned up.

When comparing the specifications and pricing of the processors, we only included CPUs which were available for purchase from local online retailers – omitting any which were out of stock across multiple stores.

Below are the specifications and pricing of the AMD Ryzen and Intel Core CPUs on the market.

Processor Cores Threads Base Clock Boost Clock TDP Price
Intel Core 8th-Gen
Intel Core i3-8100 4 4 3.6GHz N/A 65W R2,499
Intel Core i3-8300 4 4 3.7GHz N/A 62W R3,423
Intel Core i3-8350K 4 4 4.0GHz N/A 91W R4,179
Intel Core i5-8400 6 6 2.8GHz 4.0GHz 65W R3,999
Intel Core i5-8600 6 6 3.1GHz 4.3GHz 65W R5,199
Intel Core i7-8700 6 12 3.2GHz 4.6GHz 65W R6,739
Intel Core i7-8086K 6 12 4.0GHz 5.0GHz 95W R8,867
AMD Ryzen 1st-Gen
AMD Ryzen 3 1200 4 4 3.1GHz 3.45GHz 65W R2,229
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X 4 4 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 65W R2,399
AMD Ryzen 5 1400 4 8 3.2GHz 3.45GHz 65W R3,179
AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 4 8 3.5GHz 3.9GHz 65W R3,279
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6 12 3.2GHz 3.7GHz 65W R3,469
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X 6 12 3.6GHz 4.1GHz 95W R2,699
AMD Ryzen 7 1700 8 16 3.0GHz 3.75GHz 65W R3,499
AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 8 16 3.6GHz 4.1GHz 95W R4,499
Intel Core 9th-Gen
Intel Core i5-9400F 6 6 2.9GHz 4.1GHz 65W R3,589
Intel Core i5-9600K 6 6 3.7GHz 4.6GHz 95W R4,849
Intel Core i5-9700K 8 8 3.6GHz 4.9GHz 95W R7,799
Intel Core i9-9900K 8 16 3.6GHz 5.0GHz 95W R9,499
AMD Ryzen 2nd-Gen
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 4 4 3.5GHz 3.7GHz 65W R1,789
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G 4 8 3.6GHz 3.9GHz 65W R2,769
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 6 12 3.4GHz 3.9GHz 65W R3,449
AMD Ryzen 7 2700 8 16 3.2GHz 4.1GHz 65W R5,349
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X 8 16 3.7GHz 4.3GHz 105W R6,649

Old versus New

There is a difference in performance between the first and second generation of AMD’s Ryzen processors, as well as Intel’s newer and slightly older chips.

However, this is only incremental in places and the older chips with reduced price tags – such as the Ryzen 5 1600X for R2,699 – can be great deals for a builder who is looking for high-end performance on a budget.

If you want to have the best performance possible however, you will need to look at the latest chips from both manufacturers.

Benchmark comparisons have shown that while AMD’s Ryzen 2nd-gen processors excel in multi-threaded applications due to their high core counts and multi-threaded optimisation, Intel’s single-threaded performance is significantly better than AMD’s.

This means that selecting which processor to buy depends on your application and budget.

If you need extremely fast single-threaded performance and don’t mind paying a premium, the Intel Core i9-9900K will be able to blast through anything you put in front of it.

Conversely, if you are on a budget and require a fast CPU which can multitask well, you would be better off choosing something like the Ryzen 5 2600 for its great price and high thread count.

It is important to note that while single-threaded performance is an important factor to consider for gaming systems, all of these processors would offer more than enough power to drive a modern gaming PC.

This is true for the older-generation Ryzen and Intel chips as well, so do not hesitate to pick up a discounted older-generation CPU if the price is good.

Now read: The cheapest 4K TVs you can buy in South Africa

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Intel vs AMD – The best processors you can buy in South Africa